Athletics

Pole vault kings Duplantis, Lavillenie tie in back garden competition

2020-05-03 19:31
Renaud Lavillenie (File)

Three of the best pole vaulters of all time went head-to-head in a competition on Sunday from their back gardens, as sport continued to find new ways of taking place despite the coronavirus pandemic.

World record holder Armand Duplantis and former Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie cleared five metres 36 times in half an hour, while world champion Sam Kendricks managed 26 successful attempts.

The event, livestreamed by World Athletics on social media and watched by around 20 000 people, saw Lavillenie competing from his home in Clermont-Ferrand, France, with Swedish star Duplantis in Lafayette, Louisiana and Kendricks in Oxford, Mississippi.

The 20-year-old Duplantis wanted an extra three minutes to decide a winner, but Lavillenie, 33, said he was "done".

"I was really missing the feeling I get competing," said Frenchman Lavillenie.

"It's crazy but even doing this in my garden, I get the same feeling I'd get at a major championships. It was very exciting and I'm very happy to be a part of it.

"I'm not going to do it every week, but I'm happy to do it once a year."

Duplantis, who replaced Lavillenie as world record holder, let a halfway lead slip with a rare missed effort.

"It was really fun being out there competing against those guys," he said.

"I had really missed competing."

World Athletics said it would look into holding more "Ultimate Garden Clashes" in the coming weeks, with much of the world still under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is a brilliant initiative, great fun and really innovative," said World Athletics president Sebastian Coe.

"My thanks go to them, their families and the World Athletics team for bringing live athletics back during lockdown."

Lavillenie and Duplantis will face off again remotely in Oslo on 11 June, with the Swede competing at the Bislett Stadium.

The event replaces the traditional Diamond League competition, and will also feature a world-record attempt by Norwegian hurdles star Karsten Warholm.

Earlier this week, the Lausanne Diamond League meeting organisers said they were looking at "other options" after announcing it would not be able to take place as planned on 20 August.

Duplantis, who set a new world record of 6.18m in February, was the favourite to claim the Olympic title this year before the Tokyo Games were postponed until 2021.

Brazil's Thiago Braz da Silva is the reigning men's Olympic pole vault champion after triumphing in front of his home fans in Rio de Janeiro four years ago.

Read more on:    renaud lavillenie  |  lockdown  |  coronavirus

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.